Discussion in 'Research' started by stevesh, May 17, 2014.
One third of all the motels in the United States are owned by people named Patel.
That's interesting. I'm an electronics engineer, and I've had to deal with many printed-circuit board companies, in places from Montreal to Toronto to Vancouver to Los Angeles. About 90% of them are owned and operated by people from India. Lots of Patels in that group, too. What gives?
Apparently, people named Patel in India are members of a particular caste, and when they emigrate here (or Canada) they tend to help each other get established. In the US, they've gravitated to the motel business.
If anyone here is from India, or has knowledge about this, please chime in.
Not to nit-pick too much here because this is an interesting bit of trivia, but one thing I learned a very long time ago is not to believe everything you read. Rather look into it first. This information is possibly mostly true with some caveats.
First you have the information from Wiki: Patel Motel Phenomena
Mid-sized motels are not "all motels".
But that paragraph is followed by:
So is it 60% or 50%, and what proportion of all hotels in the US are "motels" or "mid-sized motels"? There are some very large motel chains in the US. In the city I live in, there are no small motels that I know of. Nearby in some less well off cities, small motels are where drugs are cooked and prostitutes work out of.
So, on to the sources of the information: 5, 7, & 8.
5: A Patel Motel Cartel? 1999
7: Planet India 2007
8: Fresh Blood: The New American Immigrants 1998
Two of those are not exactly current sources. From the NYTs we find the information comes from the AAHOA:
So is that a reliable source?
I think we can accept that Patal in India is like Smith or Jones in the US, a very common surname. I think we can also accept that a lot of immigrants own small businesses. That's true in many countries, not just in the US. It seems well documented that at a minimum, a lot of Indian immigrants followed this pattern. And small hotels fit the bill.
So that just leaves the question, what is the real percentage? Whatever it is, higher or lower, it's still a fascinating fact that a large number of motels are owned by Indian immigrants, and an additional interesting fact that many of them have the surname, Patel.
Wiki had that answer:
It would appear Patel identifies a class of people and a region of India many of them are originally from.
This was fun read of a bit of interesting cultural trivia: Who Are All Those Patels? - What do you call those retail beehives Indian merchants like to open along Devon Avenue?
"You've just entered the Patel Zone."
Your answers are all there, @stevesh, from the history of owning motels here to the caste system they are descended from.
I uncovered one more important historical fact: there is a reason.
Patels Immigrate, Buy Motels
The thing I learned while reading this thread is that Ginger has way too much time on her hands.
I knew it was going to look that way. I started out just being skeptical, like I naturally am, but I never say never without checking. And then I found it was useful background for ideas in my novel which delves into social classes and unique economic niches.
And the writing in that one article: "... retail beehives Indian merchants like to open along Devon Avenue." Doesn't "retail beehives" just draw you in?
I learned that I've been out of the anthro-loop for too long. I learned today about the Denisovan people. When I was an anthro major, there was talk about some Neanderthal specimens across northern Russia falling outside standard variation for what we know about Neanderthal physiology, but the hubbub over Mauve Leakey's "discovery" in Africa was still slightly scandalous news at the time and no one was willing to say "new species" quite yet.
Also, rather randomly, I learned tonight that Richard Marx has aged rather poorly. I remember girls signing their souls away to Beelzebub for him in the 80's.
Speeding ticket revenue averages around $300,000 per U.S. police officer.
I am glad to hear this, minstrel. One of my studies field is electronic too. I can say I am an electronic technician
Separate names with a comma.